The philosophies that successful people have greatly impact the decisions and the daily actions they take. Those actions add up to the successes they are able to achieve. Learn successful philosophies from Clifton Taulbert, a Pulitzer prize-nominated and bestselling author, who shares what top performers have and apply them to your own life and your success will be nearly guaranteed.Sign Up to Watch
success philosophies mentoring like lynda.com, business mentors
-Of the entrepreneurs and business mentors that I had interviewed thus far, it's kind of a unanimous thing-- and in Forbes magazine, they did study on this, too. They discovered that almost all of the world's most successful people have a day planner, or a to do list. They have one or the other. They either write everything on a to do list and they schedule it out that way. But I'm discovering so far, every person I've interviewed for Thrive has a to do list. But yet when I go out into the world, when I go around to different businesses that will hire me to consult with them, or people ask me to help them start a business, all the people who are really struggling, none of them have a to do list.
And I kind of feel like-- I've heard it said, if you don't schedule it, it won't happen.
-You know, let me just say this to whomever is listing right now. There are times in your life that you're going to say, I'm on top of this. You get up, and you really don't know where you're going, you have no idea of what you're going to do to take charge of that day. And because you may not be where you think you want to be, you don't think you need a day list. You don't think you need to make a list. But once you start making a list of those things that you need to do, it sets your mind in a different way of thinking. And once you start that process, you will not want to be without it, because you will recognize a higher level of expectancy of yourself, and productivity of what you do.
-So a lot of people, they'll say-- just to make sure we're on the same page-- they'll say, I don't need to do list right now, because I don't have a lot going on. It's just me. I have this job. I'm a barista. I'm working at the ice cream store. I'm an insurance guy. I'm a muffler dude. All I need is-- I don't need a to do now. But then you're saying if you don't do it, then it's hard to get to where you want to go.
-You're trying to make Thrivers. To Thrive is to plan, is to expect, is to anticipate. And this is what a list will help you do. You'll see, if you only got three things on that list, that tells you, boy, this is a big sheet of paper. I could do a lot more. But if you don't put it down, you may think your sheet of paper is filled.
-Do you ever play this little game. This is a game I play every day. I don't know if you like this game. When I get something done, I'll just take out my sweet highlighter and I'm just like, bam. Have that done. And I say, oh, have that done, have that done. I'm starting to feel really good. For some reason, it makes me feel good when I fill it out. And then I start running out of room, because something else happens. So I start putting stuff like, call Steve. And I start writing these-- I make these additions to my-- and by the end of the day, it's just packed.
CLIFTON TAULBERT: Well, what mine did-- see where the one is?
CLAY CLARK: Yeah.
-Put a check mark there.
-You do the check.
CLIFTON TAULBERT: I check. And I go through at the end of the day and I look for check marks.
-That makes you feel good?
-And when I see a lot of checkmarks, that tells me productivity has taken place.
-I learned a new secret to your heart, my friend. So the check mark is where it's at.
-Productivity has taken place.
-So entrepreneurs have so many distractions. So for instance, in my day today, these are real things that happened, and I won't throw anybody under the bus on a nationally re-broadcasted platform. But here we go. I discovered today that the air conditioning cannot be installed until-- we have a new system coming in-- it cannot be installed until Tuesday. So I have people saying, it is hot in here. I'm very aware the temperature is warm. So I got the AC problem.
Then we have a situation where I've discovered that the build-out we're doing-- we're building out a second studio, that that can't happen until Saturday. So I got the Saturday build-out going on. And then I have a client who's upset, and I'm sure you've never an upset client. But a client is upset. And so I have these things. How do you decide, with all these distractions-- the AC's going out, the build-out needs to be done, the upset client, how do you decide in your life what needs to be done with all those distractions?
-Well, I don't call them distractions. Because if you call them a distraction, you sort of predispose their importance. Because a distraction is like, I'm already going to this place. And this just is a distraction. No. I don't call it a distraction. If there's a problem, it's a problem. But what I look at the problem in two ways. The air condition is a problem, but let's see what the build-out is a problem. But what's that last one with the two little dots and--
CLAY CLARK: Well, that's the upset customer. Expectations were here--
-I would make that-- and what I do when I have, as you call them, distractions-- for example, I had a coffee guy at one of the colleges that used our coffee, he said, something is wrong. It's not coming out the way that we thought. Well, now I have a human being that has an issue. Human beings talk to other people. I want them to say good things. The air conditioner, it's going to get fixed. So what I do in that term, I prioritize the problem relative to the impact upon the people that I will have to associate with or take care of.
-So that's a big red alert in your mind. That goes right up to the top.
-If it's people focused, that is a huge red alert.
CLAY CLARK: Now I'm going to ask you this. I don't know that I'm going to agree with you, and then I'll probably go home and learn I was wrong. But let's say that this person is upset, right? And this person is not somebody that you want to do business with. You go, that's a crazy. We sold coffee to that person and I wish I wouldn't have because they're crazy. You know it's that 1 out of 100. They still go to the top? If you feel like-- because for me in this particular situation, it might be a one out of every nine months kind of person, where you're just like, whoa.
But did your mind, any time there's a problem with a person, you poof right up to the top? Or do you say, well, I'll get to that after the AC?
CLIFTON TAULBERT: No, no, no, no, no. If it's a people problem, I handle it. And sometimes if it's a problem where I feel that I'm right and they may be wrong, I still treat it as if they are right. I take the time to write them a note, give them a call, whatever I need to do. Because people tend to be the bridge to your next opportunity.
-The bridge. People tend to be the bridge--
CLIFTON TAULBERT: To your next opportunity.
-I tell you, that's a notable quotable from Clifton Taulbert.
Learn from other business mentors like Clifton Taulbert
-On a daily basis, there's a lot of entrepreneurs that say things like-- I want to write a book. Or recently, my incredible wife, who is with us here today, she's watching today, she has decided that she's going to write a book. We have five kids. So trying to write a book with five kids, it's tough, you know? You've got the five kids, and then you've got the book. And if they're awake and you're awake and you're trying to write, you don't really get a lot of continuous uninterrupted thoughts there.
You have multiple businesses you're always involved in. You have the bank obligations. You have a relationship with your wife and your son. Where did you find time to write a book? Or if I'm an entrepreneur and I'm trying to do something like write a book or something that's really a big project like that, where do you find time for that?
-First of all, you have to put writing a book into several categories, in my opinion. Some people write, and it becomes a cathartic opportunity for them, just to get things off their chest.
-Can you define cathartic, just in case I don't know what that means?
-It's like introspection. You're looking at your own journey, be it good or bad, and you're having these wrestling matches in your mind. You're writing them out. If that's the case, I think your feelings will dictate how and when you do that.
But let's say that you're writing a book that relates to your business, and there's a direct correlation between the book and the success of the business. Then you have a different way of writing. You're more in a scheduling mode there, because now that has become an extension of the business. It is not just an idea-- I want to write; I want to get this out of my head.
-Well, you've written how many books now?
-13. So when you write a book, what time of the day do you write this book?
-My writing is not determined by the clock. It is determined by an internal reference point that I have something to say. I'm the type of guy that I write for myself, first and foremost. If I don't like what I've said, I don't expect anyone else to embrace it. I read my own books.
Last night, I'm getting ready to go to Australia to do some work, and I was thinking about all that I had to do, but not from a busy standpoint. I'm thinking about how can I really make this good, really solid and good? But the idea came to me at 2:30 this morning.
-You got up at 2:30 this morning?
-I got up at 2:30.
-Man, you should have called me, bro. I was up then. That's crazy.
-I got up at 2:30, and I just got on that computer, and I just went crazy writing.
-Does this happen to you often? Where you get up at 2:30?
-Yeah. Well, from the writing perspective.
-So do you usually write before anybody else is awake? Is it safe to say you write in the mornings?
-Writing has a personality. The process has a personality. And you have to be very careful, because it can end up being a third person in the house of two.
-You've got five kids? And you've got a husband and a wife. That's seven people. But if writing becomes the eighth person, it can be a problem.
-So if someone right now wants to write a book, would you recommend they do it in the mornings, Brother Clifton? Or at night? Should they go off to the hotel and write the book? What should they do?
-I don't think there are there any specific recommendations if they want to write, because I think the surroundings of the person-- whether that person is married or single, whether that person works eight days a week, or whether that person worked 28/10. All of those things enter in as to how you utilize your time.
-I'm going to harass you about this point, because I want this answer. I need this answer.
-That book, Once upon a Time When We Were Colored, that's a bestselling book-- made into a movie. The time you wrote that, you were employed somewhere, right?
-When I started writing that book, I was much younger than you are today. I was a soldier.
CLIFTON TAULBERT: Really.
-I was a soldier.
CLIFTON TAULBERT: You were in the military.
-I was in the military.
CLIFTON TAULBERT: And you just wrote it when you had some downtime, or at night?
-No. There was a little bit more to it than that. I was at the very end of the Vietnam War. And many of my friends were being shipped off to Vietnam. And a high percentage of them never returned. And I great fear that this was going to happen to me.
So the writing process, for me, it became like this quilt that I would wrap myself up in the stories, where I was safe, where I was young, and where life was in front of me. And that's when I began writing those stories.
So I had to work in the day, obviously, in the military, but at night, you have choices-- what you want to do. And my choice was to write. And I would write at night.
-So let me ask you this here, as an ambitious person, there's somewhat of a penalty that's on you to be organized-- very ambitious you have to be I think it's a penalty that you have of being ambitious, that you have to be very organized, to be very detailed, you have to-- you just have to have a methodical plan. But when you are an ambitious person you also tend to enjoy work.
But you've done a good job during your life and I'm sure you'll tell me you could've done it better, but managing your spiritual relationship, your mind, your physical body, your relationships with family members, and your finances, you try to manage them all. How do you try to balance all the spirit, mind, body, relationships, and finances? How do you manage all five of those?
-Well, first of all I've come to the conclusion that life is not all about me. That's the very first thing. I'm not the center, and everybody revolves around me. That's not the way it is. I'm part of this incredible journey, and I have other people along that journey with me. My family, my immediate family, my extended family, my friends, and I try to live my life in such a way that I can be of value to them.
I met a guy on the plane, a young guy from South Africa. He has no family here in Tulsa. I got a call from him, I've only met him once. He said, I need to talk to you, I need to talk to someone. I may have to go back home, I don't know what I'm going to do, and I said, OK, here's my number, call me, we'll go to lunch. I try to build my life in such a way that I can have time for others, because I wouldn't be talking to you today if people had not built time into their lives for me. Did I answer your question?
-Yeah. And I guess-- and this is-- I'm just trying to marinate-- rotisserie, marinate on this. What time do you specifically schedule family time?
-I don't have a specific time.
-How do you decide that when you don't have time for-- OK, here's a example. My wife used to coach cheerleading, so sometimes she would be at cheerleading practice, and so she'd be coaching and then I would want to meet with you or somebody like yourself. And I would suggest well, I can meet at 6 o'clock on Tuesday. And at some point you have to say no to a guy like me whose calling and wanting to meet at 7 o'clock on a Tuesday because you already have something committed with your wife or-- how do you draw that boundary in the family?
-Well, I think there are a couple things. Quality of time, sincerity of effort, all of those things have to play in, and holding conversations, letting people know what's going on. Because I have the bad habit of holding work to myself.
-Check one, I'm going to make sure to do that tomorrow.
-Holding work to myself. But now I think sharing what my day looks like. So if I come home and have to do something, it makes sense, but if I-- if I have not shared any information and I come home, and right in the family time I have to do something, that's really important, but it's like a dangling participle, it's not attached to anything that anybody else knows about except me.
-Do you share this with Barbara, your incredible wife, before the day starts, or how does she know what's going on? Do you share a calendar?
-No. My incredible wife has a tendency to tell you that I am important, and that tells me, oh that's right. Then I better reorganize some of this stuff
-OK. All right, well, so we-- the relationships we know that, now physical fitness, you just get up right away, we talked-- you just get up right away and you do that. Right away, do you not want to do it, but you just do it right away because you get it out of the way? Or do you like it?
-No. I like it when I'm about 90% through.
-OK, but you just do it right away.
-But I do it right away so I don't have time to tell myself no.
-OK. And now your mind. Do you take time to read books, articles, trade journals, things to enrich your mind. Do you take time in the day to do that?
-Now, let me ask a question so I won't get off of tangent here. Now there's the mind, are we talking about the mind, or the mindset? Because I don't want to jump ahead. Well, I'm going to say-- I would say for the average entrepreneur, you hear it all the time, well most successful people read books. Most successful people listen to audio CD's, most successful people study successful people. Do you schedule time in your day to do that? To, I guess help build your mindset, or to help study success?
-Well I think the first thing that an entrepreneur has to know, or any person listening has to know, is that considerable work has been done at Stanford on the mindset. You either have a growth mindset, or a fixed mindset. And a growth mindset is the mindset that anticipates the future, and anticipates being part of that, and if you are anticipating the future then reading becomes important, because it is stretching you, it takes you to another place.
Having conversations with great people, and I'm using great in the sense, they have accomplished something within the sphere of their world, and they're happy about that. And you can go into that.
-But there's a growth mindset, or a set mindset that's been identified.
-Been identified, yes.
Send us your email address, and our team of elite minds will get right on it.